Substance Abuse

The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Substance Abuse FAQs

Providing answers on relevant topics concerning Mental Health, Health and Substance Abuse topics.

Recent Posts

U.S. Capitol

Congress Funds Key Criminal Justice Programs

Congress funded three key programs championed by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center as part of an appropriations bill that provided $26.7 billion to support U.S. Department of Justice programs.



Call for Applicants for the Statewide Family Network Program

This program will aid family-controlled organizations in effectively participating in state and local mental health services planning and health care reform activities as they relate to improving community-based activities for youth with mental health challenges and their families.



Improving Outcomes for Court-Involved Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders

This webinar provides an overview of three briefs that were recently published by National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders among youth.


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Online Tool: “Trauma-Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources”

This resource tool from JBS International, Inc., and Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health provides information on existing research, knowledge, practices, and approaches that are effective in addressing trauma.


Community-Based Supervision: Increased Public Safety, Decreased Expenditures

This tip sheet from the National Juvenile Justice Network and Safely Home Campaign discusses the fundamental characteristics of effective community-based supervision programs, including being evidence-based, using a strength-based/positive youth development approach, having court accountability and family engagement elements, using follow-up [...]

National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice

Collaborative for Change Resource Package

This resource package from the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change provides information on the prevalence, identification, and treatment of co-occurring disorders among youth involved with the juvenile justice system.

Recent headlines

NACo, CSG Target Mental Health in Jail

The effort, dubbed “Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails,” follows the rise in the number of people with mental disorders booked into local jails, now estimated to top two million annually.

Inmates on Way Out Get Help with Health Plans

The Benton County jail is joining a growing number of corrections facilities in the state and beyond in helping some uninsured, soon-to-be released inmates apply for Medicaid coverage.

BEND: Trying to Keep Pace in Deschutes County

In the spring of 2010, community stakeholders in Deschutes County set forth to establish a steering committee to identify the issues and work in a collaborative effort to deliver improved services to those suffering from mental illness. By winter of 2011, the committee had firmly established the Deschutes County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), and the first 40-hour training was conducted for law enforcement officers based on a model used by the CIT in Memphis, Tenn.

Overcrowded Prisons Offer No Easy Fix

The options detailed for lawmakers in a report issued last week on how to address a backlog of state inmates in county jails highlights just how much prison reform is going to dominate the agenda of a legislative session already likely to be overshadowed by fights over Medicaid and tax cuts. Forum Offers Community Solutions to Alabama’s Prison Problem

MOBILE, Alabama — Something has to change. At least that’s what activists, community leaders, other residents said during a forum on Alabama’s troubled prisons held Monday at the office, 18 S. Royal St., Mobile. About 50 people attended the two-hour event. They posed questions and possible solutions for the prison system.

New York City Plans Focus on Mental Health in Justice System

In an effort to reduce the growing number of inmates with mental health and substance abuse problems in New York City’s jails, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans on Monday to significantly expand public health services at almost every step of the criminal justice process.